China Blocks Two of the Largest Mobile Poker Apps

China Blocks Two of the Largest Mobile Poker Apps

Online poker has become the go-to game of choice over the last few years in China. It has been difficult for the Chinese government to keep track of the thousands of online poker games and poker apps. Recently, China has been concentrating on getting rid of illegal gambling in the country, and recently that means getting rid of poker apps. This month, China managed to block two of the largest mobile poker apps operating in the country.

Legal Gambling in China

In most cases, gambling is illegal on the Chinese mainland. The only forms of gambling that are legal in China are the two government-run lotteries. One lottery funds social welfare programs for China’s elderly and disabled population. The other fund’s sports training and housing for elite athletes in China that are hoping to compete on the Olympic level in the future.

There are only two places in China, where gambling is legal. One is on Macau, which is a former Portuguese colony. Macau is the richest gambling area in the world, doing over $30 billion in business each year. There are 38 casinos located in Macau. Hong Kong, the former British colony, also has gambling, but it is centered on horse racing.

Illegal Gambling in China

Gambling On the RiseWhile the Chinese government has not allowed any forms of gambling on the Chinese mainland, that does not stop people from wanting to gamble. For example, many Chinese people play mahjong for money. Mahjong is an ancient game played with Chinese symbols on the tiles. It is estimated that mahjong is nearly 500 years old.

In addition to mahjong, many Chinese people play poker. Poker was introduced to the Chinese mainland through immigrants who left China for the United States, and sent poker cards back home. Poker became so popular in China that the Chinese developed their own form of poker—pai gow poker. Pai gow poker has remained very popular in China.

Illegal gambling in China takes two forms: illegal gambling dens and online gambling. The Chinese government has tried to stamp out illegal gambling dens wherever possible. The government has used techniques such as drones and spies to find and arrest people who illegally gamble. Online gambling, however, is more difficult to resolve.


Online gambling operators have continued to look for access to the population in China. The majority of the Chinese people have disposable income, and the sheer population size makes it a lucrative market. While other casino games are popular in China, poker has proven to be the most popular. That has been the application that the Chinese government is trying really hard to eradicate.

Earlier in the fall, Apple removed 5000 different poker applications at the request of the Chinese government. In addition, the government has been working methodically to shut down poker websites. Mobile applications, which allow people to play poker from anywhere are difficult to get rid of entirely.

The two largest poker apps to be shut down so far are Poker King and Poker Tribe. These two apps have millions of subscribers and are said to produce 7 million dollars in bets per day. While it is easy for the Chinese government to find and shut down poker apps originating from inside China, both Poker Tribe and Poker King originated in the Philippines.

This latest shutdown represents the second time the Poker King app has taken a hit from the Chinese government. Poker King was originally called Poker Circle, and it made hundreds of millions of dollars before being shut down by the Chinese government. The creators of Poker King are hoping if they take a break, and re-enter the country under a different name, they can take up where they left off.

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